Monday, January 9, 2012

Perspective and a Project

Reading that one of my sorority sisters from college is having a double mastectomy today helped me gain a much needed perspective on my current situation.   As I sit here worrying about her, I've made a decision to stop my bitching about California and just make it work.  I've changed my altitude and now I must change my attitude.

OK, time for a funny story.  In the beginning that is what I proposed this blog would be, funny stories from my life.   BUT, it has turned into something else entirely lately and ENOUGH is ENOUGH!

Tanner has a school project due on Friday.  He has to build a model of Mission Santa Cruz (there were other choices but that boy loves to build).  We are learning all kinds of California history in the process.  He and Eric started building it over Xmas break using cardboard (something we have plenty of around here).  Once the structure was complete, Tanner and I started working on the details.  I am no stranger to crafts, people.  I was a first grade teacher for 16 years and have dealt with glitter (god help me) and plenty of children who get carried away with a bottle of Elmer's in their hands.  But I guess it's been awhile since I've battled the glue gun.
I think all glue guns should have that warning printed on them like the coffee cups from McDonald's.  "This shit gets REALLY fricking hot.  You WILL get burned."  That's my idea for the warning.  I know, not exactly the same as the coffee cup thing.  Anywho, I was doing great until we had to put grass all over the base.  Gluing the roof tiles was easy, they are solid squares of cardboard.  I put a squeeze of glue and Tanner stuck it on.  "Oooh, that feels hot through the cardboard,"  Tanner says.  "You have that right," I respond.
Let's discuss this grass, by the way.  I could have just had him color or paint the base green or covered it in green felt.  But then I spotted this spanish moss at JoAnn's and thought how realistic it would look.  (Dumbass)  I realize right away this is gonna get messy.  You have to pull the grass apart and it's not so easy. Plus it's falling all over the place and my dog is chewing on it as it hits the floor.  There's a comedian who says that glitter is the herpes of craft products (b/c once who have it, it never really goes away).  As I'm ripping the moss into sections, I can't get this out of my head.  (Squirrel!)
The true fun starts once the glue gun (implement of torture) is heated up.  Mine has 2 settings and I went with the lower one.  I know I'm going to be cursing, so I send Tanner to do something else, telling him I don't think he can help with this part b/c I don't want him to get burned.  So I put the glue on in small sections and wait a few seconds hoping it will cool a little, but not harden completely.  I stick the grass over the glue and instantly feel the heat.  So I yank my hand away but the pain doesn't stop.  That glue that is burning me is instantly hardening on my finger.  Awesome.  As an added bonus, I now have a spider web type string between me and the mission.  This process continues for about 15 minutes or so:  glue, grass, curse, tangle, glue, grass, curse, tangle.  As I'm trying to get the grass to stay on the base and not pull away with my hand, I have a surge of empathy for bikini waxers everywhere!
Ah, well, by the time I finish, I am tangled into a mess of dried glue strings and have little pieces of green moss grass hanging off of most of my fingers.  But, it LOOKS so realistic!  I can't wait to show Tanner.  (It is HIS project after all).  He comes down as I'm peeling the glue and grass off of my fingers and comments, "You were right, Mom, the grass is WAY better than just coloring it."  And I get a hug.  Totally worth it!  Get ready, Mrs. Chung, here comes Mission Santa Cruz ala Burke!!


  1. It turned out great! Glad to see that you are starting with a new perspective, but still don't to be too hard on yourself when you get down. You are only human girl! Can't wait to see you at the crop for the cure! Linda

  2. It looks great! Good job!

    When we moved from Indianapolis to AZ, it took FOREVER to make friends. In Indiana, making friends was totally easy: Buy a house, open your garage door, go outside, the driveway is full of your new friends. In my neighborhood in AZ, a lot of people don't even nod when you say hello to them.

    Now that I've lived here for 11 years, I know the secret: Join a club, team, or a church. Volunteering is good too. The key is you have to be interested in the activity for its own sake. In other words, churches are great for making friends, but only if you're really into that church. If not, it doesn't work.

    People here are more interested in activities than "making friends". I almost never go out to lunch, coffee or happy hour with people unless they're already a really good friend (and then rarely) or it's part of a group activity.

    They have a "Newcomers Club" here. I never did that (should have!), but a friend of mine used to be very involved in it. Optimists Club, Rotary Club, any kind of sport, volunteering at sporting events, sailing club (you don't need a boat), etc. are a few ideas.

    Good luck! It gets better.<3